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Eggshell Mineralization: A Case Study of a Bioprocessing Strategy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2013

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Extract

Product Concept: Fluid packaging device.

Description: A package is required to contain approximately 50 ml (55–60 grams) of a viscous, 2-phase, thermally labile, aqueous medium containing proteins, carbohydrates, salts, nucleic acids and fats. A seamless ellipsoidal container is anticipated having a maximum radial dimension of 45 mm and a maximum axial dimension of 60 mm. The container wall must be permeable to respiratory gases and water vapor. External surface texture must be minimal. White coloration is acceptable, but the ability to incorporate solid or patterned surface coloration is desirable. The package wall must weigh approximately 5 g, the material must contain at least 0.3 g of bioavailable calcium, and it must be recyclable and biodegradable. The container must withstand 400-g drop test impacts.

Processing: All materials must be maintained and the container fabricated by aseptic processing in neutral-pH, aqueous medium at less than 40°C and with a unit production time of less than 24 hours.

Unit cost: Filled unit containers must be produced for approximately $4.00/100 units, with approximately $1.00/100 units allocated to container components and assembly.

Laboratory Solution: Not achievable in the laboratory.

Biological Solution: The eggshell.

In its composition, architecture, and function, the eggshell is an elegant solution to the design problem posed above—a multilayered bioceramic composite, consisting of a mineral phase (primarily calcite, CaCO3) deposited on and within a complex organic phase (the matrix). The eggshell provides a unique microenvironment for housing embryonic development. It protects the embryo, regulates respiratory gases, water and ions, and provides calcium for embryonic skeletal development.

Type
Biology and Materials Synthesis
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1992

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